On New Year’s Eve, BBC site was attacked by hackers and was made unavailable for few hours after which a BBC source described the hit as a ‘distributed denial of service’ attack. The BBC's online services, including its news website and iPlayer catch-up TV platform, were taken down for a few hours on Thursday by a large web attack. Initial statement by BBC reported the issue must have been because of the technical glitch and the team is working to bring the sites and services back to normal.
But, a group that says it targets online activity linked to so-called Islamic State (IS) has claimed it was behind an attack on the BBC's website. The group, calling itself New World Hacking, said it had carried out the attack as a ‘test of its capabilities’. Ownz, one of the group’s members, said that the New World Hacking constitute a team of 12 people, eight male and four female, who came together in 2012. Ownz said his group used a tool called Bangstresser, created by another US-based ‘hacktivist’, to direct a flood of traffic against the BBC.
In a tweet to BBC technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, said “We are based in the US, but we strive to take down Isis [IS] affiliated websites, also Isis members. The reason we really targeted [the] BBC is because we wanted to see our actual server power”. As per earlier statement from the group, the attack on the BBC site was actually a test and they were having no plans to take it down for multiple hours. According to Ownz, the group supplemented the attack with requests from its own personal computer servers. Earlier, the group used the technique against IS websites, but intended to ‘really get into the action’ against a new list of targets associated with the militant Islamist group.
Among other recent activities by the New World Hacking group includes campaign against the Ku Klux Klan, and the #OpParis effort to identify and report IS social media accounts following the November attacks on the French capital.
A report in AJC informed, "The group New World Hacking — which describes itself as "supporting Anonymous" in its Twitter biography — claims it carried out the attack as a test of its power. In a message to a BBC technology correspondent, the group said it's based in the U.S. and strives to 'take down ISIS affiliated websites.'"
A report published by Northern Californian said, "For few hours, BBC website and iPlayer network suffered an outage. DDoS attacks are not easy to mitigate as they are conducted from different locations. There are many specialized hosting services that claim to reduce the risk of DDoS attacks. Still, a many high traffic websites have suffered powerful DDoS attacks in recent times, crippling the service for hours. In a typical DDoS attack, the servers are flooded with messages and traffic from multiple sources. This leads to slowdown of servers and ability to serve real traffic is impaired."
West Texas earlier reported about attack on BBC website. Another interesting point to note is that BBC is not the first news media organization to be hit by hackers, the New York Times website was temporarily shut down after the company’s domain name registrar was hit by the Syrian hackers in 2013. The Financial Times and The Washington Post have faced similar attacks. As per the statement by the company, the DDos attack left attackers send a huge amount of requests to a specific website, leaving it unable to deal with them all and knocking it offline.